"A house without books is like a room without windows." -Horace Mann

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

52 Books for 52 Weeks - My Year in Review

Happy New Year!  One of my discoveries in 2012 was the website goodreads.com.  It speaks to my love of books, my love of recommending books, my love of getting recommendations from people I trust, and my love of organizing and tracking books!  At the beginning of the year the website encouraged me to set myself a reading challenge goal, so I did.  I figured one book a week wouldn't be too hard. Well, my consistency went up and down, but I finished my 52nd book with 5 days to spare! 

For my own benefit (and perhaps yours if you are interested), I'd like to do a quick review of the year in book terms.

I started the year off by reading The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.  And just so you know, I do not know that because I remembered, only because goodreads tracks it for me.  Anyway, I was excited to find that I started the year off with an excellent classic, a book of sci-fi short stories that were both mesmerizing and haunting. Some were funny, others were disturbing.  All were mind-opening.

Some of the books I enjoyed the most included:

Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba
The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall

Brandon Sanderson, author
My favorite of the year was not a single book, but multiple books by Brandon Sanderson.  I can't believe it took me this long to discover such a fabulous author!  Thanks once again goes to my friend Emily for the recommendation.  First I started with the Mistborn trilogy, then read a couple of his other books like Elantris and Warbreaker (good but not as good as Mistborn), and finally finished with the first book in his "Stormlight Archive" called The Way of Kings.  Sanderson has an amazing ability to write realistic systems of magic that aren't just conjured out of thin air.  Only problem now is that I've run of of books by this author.  He is projecting that The Way of Kings will be followed by NINE other books in the series, so now I have to WAIT!  I'm already waiting for the final installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles to come out, and now I've got another set to anticipate.  My only comfort is that I have introduced these books to a number of family members who are enjoying them as much as I am.  Success!

I also wanted to note a few of my favorite picture books that the kids and I came across this year.  Most of them are our favorites because of great artwork combined with fun and interesting words.
Happy by Mies van Hout
Jump! by Scott M. Fischer 
Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner
The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner
A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke

I finished the year off with a children's book called Goblin Secrets by William Alexander, all about goblins and witches, secrets, and the wearing of masks.  Not to mention a National Book Award Winner.  A nice laid-back way to end the year, especially after the busy holidays.

I haven't decided what my reading goals will be this year, so what do you think?  What are your reading plans for 2013?

It's been a good year all around and I'm looking forward to many more adventures next year, both in my world, and in the many worlds between many pages.  Hopefully I will see you there!

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